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4 Incredibly Rare (And Oddly Cute) Baby Gharial Crocodiles Born At Texas Zoo.

gharial crocodile baby

In an amazing win for conservation, the Fort Worth Zoo announced the hatching of four critically endangered gharial crocodiles. The zoo highlighted just how monumental this moment is in a statement on their website, “To date, only one other institution has successfully bred the species, producing a single hatchling back in 2016.”  

With only 35 gharial crocodiles living in U.S. zoos, the Fort Worth Zoo’s successful breeding program has quadrupled the number of births ever recorded in the country.

baby gharials

The Fort Worth Zoo is the only institution in the United States to have produced multiple offspring of this critically endangered species. The hatchlings, born from two separate clutches of eggs from two different mothers, bring new bloodlines into the population. 

This achievement signifies a major step forward in the ongoing efforts to preserve and grow the worldwide gharial population. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the gharial crocodile as critically endangered, with an estimated population of only 1,000 left in the wild, and approximately 200 of them being reproducing adults.

Their significant population decline occurred due to hunting and habitat destruction caused by human activities. 

baby gharial and adult

These baby gharials are a decade in the making. The Fort Worth Zoo’s breeding program has worked for over ten years on successfully breeding these incredibly rare creatures. While clutches have been laid before, low fertility among the eggs makes successful incubation difficult. 

However, the dedicated team at the zoo closely monitored the developing eggs for months, eagerly anticipating signs of life. The hatching of the gharial crocodile babies was an emotional and joyous moment for the staff.

“The team is incredibly proud and excited to finally have gharial hatchlings,” Said Vicky Poole, the associate curator of ectotherms at the zoo. “With each sign of life, our superstitious anticipation grew, just like a baseball pitcher throwing a no-hitter game. We were all pretty emotional with each hatching.”

baby gharial crocodile

With this significant breakthrough, the Fort Worth Zoo aims to contribute its research and expertise to other zoos and institutions worldwide. By sharing knowledge and resources, the zoo hopes to collaborate in bolstering the population of this critically endangered species. 

The successful breeding of gharial crocodiles at the Fort Worth Zoo highlights the importance of collective efforts in conservation and the potential for long-term success when institutions work together and share their knowledge and resources.

The only way for us to succeed in conservation efforts, from bringing endangered species back from the brink to protecting crucial habitats, is by working together. 

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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